Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anakena Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Not your typical bone dry Sauvignon Blanc, this white from Chile's Central Valley is fruit forward with peach and mango predominant. A pleasant, easy drinking summer wine, it sells for a wide variety of prices, PA at $7.99 being about average.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Volteo Tempranillo/Shiraz 2008

This red blend from Albacete in Castilla La Mancha is grown in a hot, dry climate. It's aged in oak for four months and the resulting wine is fruit forward, but does stop short of being actually sweet, with cherry and plum elements and a slightly spicy finish. All in all, a robust, full bodied, drinkable country wine. A nice buy at $5.99, which these days will just about get you a bottle of CA or Australian plonk.

Percheron Chenin Blanc/Viognier 2011

The Viognier gives this very young South African white a fruitiness, mostly peach and apricot. while the Chenin Blanc balances this with citrus and limestone elements. A nice, refreshing wine for summer. $7.99.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vina Eguia Temranillo Reserva 2007

Not often will you find a really good Rioja Reserva (aged two years in oak and an additional three in the bottle) at an affordable price. This one is truly excellent, withred cherry, oak and vanilla predominant and just the right amount of spice in the finish, so grab it while you can, at an incredible $9.99.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rocco delle Macie Campo Maccione Morellino di Scansano 2008

Morellino is a local name for the Sangiovese grape and this red from the South of Tuscany is indeed very similar to a Chianti Superiore. The vineyard was bought in the 70's by a successful producer of spaghetti westerns who invested a lot of money in it and this shows. This is a nicely rounded wine, with pronounced red cherry and rapberry flavors and just enough acidity at the finish to make it interesting. No doubt because of its age its priced at a truly remarkably low $8.99, at which price it's a huge bargain.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Emina Tinto Fino 2007

The entry level wine of one of the leading wineries in the Ribeira de Duero region in NW Spain, this red is a very good wine indeed. It's aged for six months in oak and, on the palate displays a very heady mix of dark plum and soft tannins, with a prolonged finish. Because of its age it's being remaindered, but I can assure you that the bottle we opened had nothing wrong with it. A real steal at $7.99.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Roc du Chateauvieux Muscadet 2009

We are of two minds about this white Loire from the area west of Nantes. My C.D.C. rather liked it, praising it for its freshness and lightness. I found it to be a bit too citrusy for my taste and wasn't sure about the slightly salty aftertaste -- no doubt an evocation of the salt laden winds blowing inland from the nearby Atlantic. De gustibus non disputandum est. $7.99.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Montepio Sybo 2010

Alright, I admit I have a thing for Argentinian Mendozas. This red is an unoaked Syrah/Bonarda blend (I'll leave it to the mavens to decide if the Argentinian Bonarda is really that or something else entirely) which exhibits all the characteristics of the type: a rich element of plum and blackberry along with a chocolate finish. Very favorably priced at $7.99.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mirassou Pinot Noir 2009

This CA red is a fairly simple wine, very fruity with cherry and strawberry elements predominating. Drinkable but completely unmemorable and definitely overpriced at $8.99.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crios Syrah/Bonarda 2007

Yet another Argentine red from the Mendoza Valley, this is a very fruit forward wine, unusually so for a Mendoza. Red berries and red cherry are dominant, with a conspicuous chocolate element. If you insist upon absolutely dry wines you probably won't like it, but if you're willing to go with a fun, extremely pleasant quaff this is a real find. And, probably because it's near the end of its useful life (although by no means over the hill), it's being remaindered at $7.99, a price well below the market. By all means go for it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Villacezan Albarin Blanco 2011

This Spanish white is a Tierra de Leon, a newly sanctioned designatgion of origin. It's very crisp, clean, relatively light, with citrus, predominantly grapefruit, elements. $8.99.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Xplorador Carmenere 2010

A product of the giant Chilean combine Concha y Toro which sells vast quantities of plonk in this country, this inexpensive red is a very pleasant surprise. It tastes of blackberry, with soft tannins and a somewhat smoky finish. Indisputably a genuine bargain at $5.99. I guess the one thing you can say for sure about the PLCB is that it's not predictable.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

This CA red, made by a subsidiary of the vast Gallo group, is made from grapes grown in diverse regions and has an admixture of Merlot. The dominant elements are black currant and blackberry, with some vanilla, soft tannins and oak.$8.99.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Navarro Correas Coleccion Privada Malbec 2010

A top of the line product from this well etablished Argentinian winery, this Mendoza Valley red is an extremely pleasing wine, with the usual Malbec elements of red cherry, plum, vanilla, and chocolate.These are put into focus by nicely rounded, soft tannins. Very reasonably priced at $9.99, stock up on it, it should be good for some years longer.

Travel Report

We are back from eleven days at sea and a week of touring the North of France. In the course of that time we sampled eighteen wines, some cheaper ones which were included in the cruise fare at both lunch and dinner, some more expensive which we ordered from the wine list, as some we ordered in French restaurants, and a few we bought in supermarkets at roughly fifteen dollars each. As it happens, only a single one of these wines is available in PA. As I was in no way making deliberately arcane choices, this seems to defy the odds, but there you are. It would be pointless to review the others as this blog is intended mainly for PA residents and we unfortunates can't buy them due to the PLCB' purchasing policies. (By the way, whatever happened to the Governor's announced intentions in that regard?) Anyway, the one available wine is a Jose Maria de Fonseca 2008, made from the Periquita grape. This Portuguese red is a thoroughly pleasant but unpretentious product, fairly priced at $7.99.